Allen West doled out $88K in bonuses to congressional staff after losing in 2012

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Tea Party favorite Allen West talked a lot on the campaign trail in 2012 about the need for reigning in government spending. However, as one of his final acts as a member of the U.S. House after being defeated by Patrick Murphy, West doled out over $88,000 in bonuses to his congressional staff, the fourth highest amount of any member according to the website LegiStorm, which tracks congressional pay.

Retiring Democrat Gary Ackerman of New York was the most generous with public money, giving bonuses 100% above normal salary levels. Missouri’s Todd Akin was second with a 98 percent increase in pay for his staff. Rep. Chip Cravaack was the third most generous, according to LegiStorm.

Quarterly pay for West’s congressional staff was typically $192,233. During the final quarter of 2012, West’s congressional staff’s salaries amounted to $273,758.

Of the top 10 members of Congress most generous with year-end bonuses, nine were Republicans, and 14 of the top 20 were, not coincidentally, on their way out of the House.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.